Spectral/This Is Horror competition: the winners

Spectral PressCast your minds back to the latter quarter of last year, and you’ll remember a little competition that Spectral Press ran in conjunction with this esteemed This Is Horror magazine. Well, both Michael Wilson (editor of TIH) and Simon Marshall-Jones (Spectral Press editor/publisher) have been sifting and reading the fabulous entries, which were uniformly of a high standard and so made it a difficult task for us to pick a winner. Thanks to all those who took the trouble to send in a story!!

Unfortunately, as good as all the stories were, we had to pick a winner and so, with a loud fanfare of virtual trumpets, we very proudly announce that the winner of the Spectral/This Is Horror short story competition is……

David Tallerman, whose absolutely magnificent and beautifully told tale, The Way of the Leaves, bowled us over. David wins a lifetime subscription to Spectral Press publications for the lifetime of the imprint!  Plus, the story, about how there are some chasms between people which are unbridgeable no matter how hard you try build one, will feature in a future chapbook. This is what David had to say when we told him he’d won:

“From the minute I became aware of Spectral Press and saw the quality of the books they were putting out, I knew they were my ideal home for The Way of the Leaves.  So I couldn’t believe my luck when the Spectral/This Is Horror contest was announced … and now I really can’t believe my luck!  How often do you get your first choice of publisher for a story, and the chance to read all of the other tremendous work they put out along with it?”

Our runner-up is Samuel Bonner with A Ghost in Tokyo, about one gaming journalist’s somewhat unexpected experience in modern Japan after being told about a legendary arcade game – he wins a year’s subscription to the Spectral chapbooks.

Finally, in the draw for the third place prize, the choice of a future Spectral Press publication, the name picked at random out of the hat is Robert Elrod.


Newsy bits and pieces

Spectral Press LogoTo start off this extremely sunny Monday morning, here are a few bits and pieces of news:

First off, the hardback edition of Gary Fry’s novella The Respectable Face of Tyranny will be delayed very slightly and will now be available in mid-April – but as soon as it comes into stock copies will start to wing their way towards those who purchased them. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Secondly, it has been decided that Wayne Simmons’ as yet untitled chapbook will be published next year, not in December this year as orginally planned. This is purely because Wayne has already published quite a bit recently and he feels that it would be better if the chapbook was published sometime in 2013. Spectral will now ponder how best to rejig things – more news when all has been decided.

Thirdly, and most importantly, the winners of the Spectral/This Is Horror short story competition will finally be announced THIS EVENING – so please look out for that!! We had some excellent entries, and I can definitely say that the winning story thoroughly deserved its first place.

So, until this evening, onwards and upwards!

Spectral/This Is Horror competition update

Spectral Logo 2This is just to let everyone expecting the announcement today of the winner of the Spectral/This Is Horror short story writing competition that there will be a week’s delay, due to circumstances beyond our control. Apologies for keeping you all in suspense, but we promise that we WILL be announcing the winner next week!

Many thanks for your patience!!

The Respectable Face of Tyranny: the paperback (plus other stuff)

Yes, you read that right – Gary Fry’s novella, launching the new Spectral Visions line of longer works in April, will also now be available as a paperback. You can pre-order copies below, but please note that this contains the lead story only – the bonus novella, World Wide Web, is ONLY available in the hardback edition, of which only a few copies are left (see here for details on ordering the limited HB edition if you want both novellas). The paperback will be available through Spectral only for the time being, but it will also be made available through Amazon shortly before official publication.

Prices include postage and packing.

UK – £5.99 (£4.99 + £1 p&p)

EU – 9 Euros (6 Euros + 3 Euros p&p)

USA  – $12 ($8 + $4 s&h)

RoW – $12 ($8 + $4 p&p)

And yes, that’s right, I said Amazon – Spectral is spreading its wings in a bid to get its name out there to the masses far and wide. That may be a commonplace these days, but it shows how far Spectral has come in such a short time. We are also looking to upload an e-book there at some point in the future, too. There’ll be an announcement when it’s available – look out for that!


The winner of the Spectral/This Is Horror short story writing competition will be announced on 9th March 2012 – we’ve had more than a few VERY strong, high-quality entries and deciding the overall winner is proving to be a tough one. Keep on the lookout for a special blog announcement here very soon!!


Now, SFE has its very own Facebook page – go here to ‘like’ it and please spread the name around!! Thanks!!

Assorted items of news


“Rough music: (- n) a loud cacophony created with tin pans, drums, etc,; the cacophonous ringing of bells, hooting, blowing bull’s horns, the banging of frying pans, saucepans, kettles, or other kitchen or barn implements with the intention of creating long-lasting embarrassment

Sometimes, the sounds we hear in the dark have resonances that we cannot foresee…

 “A writer whose skill is admirably suffused by a thorough grounding in the art of past masters of the macabre” Stephen Volk

The fifth volume of the Spectral chapbook series of ghostly/supernatural stories, from World Fantasy-Award nominee Simon Kurt Unsworth,  is currently well on its way and will be available at the end of this month/early part of March to subscribers. Sadly, it’s sold out – but we heartily encourage people to take out  a subscription to ensure that you never miss out on these highly sought-after items. Paypal buttons can be found down the right-hand side of this website. There are still some places available starting from Volume VI, The Eyes of Water by Alison Littlewood, author of the bestselling A Cold Season (Jo Fletcher Books).


This novella, due to be published on April 2nd and which will also have the honour of launching the new Spectral Visions line of longer works, is selling extremely well, with copies going very steadily. Gary’s chapbook for Spectral, Abolisher of Roses, sold out in very short order, even before it was officially published, and this looks like it could be going the same way. To order your pre-publication copy, go here – but you’ll need to get in quick to secure this hardback edition, complete with bonus story World Wide Web, full-colour cover designed by Neil Williams and a silk ribbon bookmarker, before it does sell out. The postage is FREE in the UK and there’s also HALF-PRICE airmail shipping for international orders!


All the entries are now in and this week will see me reading every one of the entries we received – the winner will be announced at the end of the month. Looking forward to seeing what chilling inventiveness people have come up with. Good luck to all those who sent a story in!


Don’t forget, too, that editing and proofreading services are  now being offered by yours truly, for both the seasoned professional author and aspiring writer alike. The Spectral chapbooks have been noted for the excellence of  their editing, so why not take advantage of my services to help you produce a highly-polished piece of work. Details of what’s on offer, as well as my rates, can be found here. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with regard to your writing project to see what I can do for you – I’ll be more than happy to help in any way I can!